Many people today have serious concerns about greenhouse gases and the impact they have on the environment.
Although some deny that human activity has anything to do with changing climate conditions, evidence strongly suggests that greenhouse gases are largely to blame for recent weather and climate changes in the U.S. and around the world.
What are greenhouse gases?
The “greenhouse effect” is something that people have known about for decades. These gases, when emitted, become trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, much as heat becomes trapped inside a greenhouse. The most greenhouse gases that create the largest impact include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and several gases known as fluorinated gases.
Some of these gases, such as CO2 or carbon dioxide, are easily recognizable. Although some greenhouse gases do occur naturally, an increasing amount of greenhouse gases are due to human causes. One of the biggest challenges facing environmentalists is coping with the effects of these greenhouse gases while finding ways to provide energy that is affordable for the majority of consumers. Addressing the sources of these gases is one way the public can work towards practical solutions.
Traditional electricity’s impact on the environment
A majority of electricity in the United States comes from the burning of fossil fuels. The most common fossil fuels used for electricity production include coal and natural gas. Although these energy sources are time-tested and readily available, they generate emissions that have a negative impact on the environment. Dense population growth in some areas of the country has led to continually increased demands for more electricity. However, although these growing populations need to meet their needs, the increased energy production will lead to serious consequences for the environment if left unchecked.
As more greenhouse gases end up being released into the environment, people will see the effects of these emissions in many ways. Changes in the climate due to greenhouse gases affect the weather, including temperatures and rainfall. These changes, in turn, can affect agriculture, forests, and other factors that impact the economy. Over time, these changes may affect energy production. There are many solutions that experts propose to help combat the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change. One of these solutions includes the use of alternative energy sources, which have less of an impact on the environment. Solar panels, for example, are emission-free and provide a cost-effective solution for clean energy.
What is happening because of greenhouse gases?
Despite evidence that greenhouse gases have a detrimental effect on the environment, many people are unconcerned about the effects of climate change. However, when learning that greenhouse gases may also affect the energy sector, some skeptics will give the evidence a second thought.
For example, hotter summers lead to a major increase in electricity uses, which may drive up the costs during peak times. Another factor is the fact that some types of power plants use water in their cooling systems. In settings with high temperatures and drought conditions, this may pose a very real energy crisis.
When climate change due to greenhouse gases occurs, it affects power plants in a significant way. Plans for new power plants have often been disrupted because of concerns about whether rainfall amounts will allow for enough cooling. One alternative commonly suggested is air-powered cooling. However, this is an expensive option.
How does solar energy help?
Solar energy, using specially constructed solar panels, makes a major difference in providing clean energy. Additional forms of clean energy include wind power, tidal power, and thermal energy. However, of these, solar power shows the most promise for use by private homeowners. In addition to homeowner use, many energy companies use solar panels that are part of a solar photovoltaic system to provide a clean, renewable option to their customers. Many people who are shopping for a different electric provider will look for a company that offers renewable options.
One of the concerns of many regarding solar energy is whether they will have electricity during cloudy weather. Many people who live in states with a lot of rainfall or overcast days may feel that they won’t benefit from using solar energy. However, there are several sorts of systems that work very well without the need for an exceptional amount of sunshine. One thing that many people can feel assured of when they search for alternative energy options is just how far solar energy technology has come.
Will solar energy play a lasting role in helping the environment?
Solar energy will continue to play a very large role in alternative energy options. As more people see the effects of climate change because of greenhouse gases, they will want to learn more about this alternative option. Advances in technology will continue to put solar energy within reach for more people.
To learn how solar energy can work for your home, visit www.rgsenergy.com for information and a free quote.